Apple A6 SoC – Not A15, But Much More Efficient Than Competing SoCs
By on September 17th, 2012

When Apple announced the iPhone 5, the company mentioned that the device had a 2x faster processor without providing anymore information on the SoC. Apple’s claims led many to believe that the iPhone 5 is going to be the first handset in the market to sport a Cortex-A15 based SoC.

Sadly, as the folks at AnandTech found out, the iPhone 5 does not sport an A15 based SoC. Instead, it sports a custom dual-core hybrid Cortex-A9 and A15 CPU from Apple.

Apple going the custom core way for the A6 SoC shows how much the Cupertino giant is dedicated towards the iOS ecosystem. By making its own custom core, Apple can further tighten the iOS experience, which will ultimately benefit the end users.

So, how does the A6 SoC stack against the quad-core Exynos SoC inside the Galaxy S3 and other competing SoCs?

A Geek Bench 2 result of the A6 SoC shows that Apple has only clocked the CPU at 1GHz, which is fairly conservative for a 32nm based SoC. The new iPhone 5 scores 1601 in GeekBench 2, while the International Galaxy S3 scores 1781. Even though the Exynos SoC inside the SGS3 managed to beat the iPhone 5, the A6 SoC inside the iPhone 5 is clearly much more powerful. The A6 SoC has two less cores, and is clocked at a fairly conservative 1.02GHz and yet manages to come very near to the Galaxy S3 in GeekBench 2.

Apart from the Exynos SoC, the A6 inside the iPhone 5 is easily able to beat all other SoCs found in other Android devices including the Nexus 7 (Tegra 3), and the HTC One X (Qualcomm S4 Krait).

The A6 SoC also has phenomenal memory performance, which has generally been a weak point of ARM based CPUs. The SoC is also rumored to sport a PowerVR SGX543MP3 GPU clocked at higher speeds than found on the iPhone 4S. Head over to AnandTech for an excellent analysis of the Geek Bench 2 results.

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Author: Rajesh Pandey Google Profile for Rajesh Pandey
Rajesh is a 19 year old nerd, currently pursuing B.Com Hons from Bhawanipore college in Kolkata, India. He loves everything tech, especially Android. You can follow him on twitter @ePandu or mail to him at rajesh@techie-buzz.com.

Rajesh Pandey has written and can be contacted at rajesh@techie-buzz.com.

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